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Even Republicans Swing Left in 1st California U.S. Senate Debate

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Most of the candidates running for California’s up-for-grabs U.S. Senate seat were swaying so far to the left during Monday’s televised debate that even the Republicans were talking about raising the minimum wage, the problem of income inequality and how bad George W. Bush’s foreign policy was.

“I think we have to crack down on Wall Street, just like Bernie Sanders is saying,” said Republican Ron Unz, who lamented the “oligarchy” of the “financial elite” while complimenting a position of a Democratic candidate for president.

That was just one of the unexpected left turns Monday when, in an unusual moment in California politics, two Democrats and three Republicans shared a debate stage. Co-sponsored by The Chronicle, KCRA-TV of Sacramento and the University of the Pacific, the debate on the Stockton campus was one of only two multiparty primary debates scheduled before California’s June 7 primary and the only one to be televised live across the state and streamed digitally. The top two vote-getters in the primary, regardless of party affiliation, will face off in November.

Despite the bipartisan lineup, there were few clashes among the candidates and no sound bite zingers that will go viral. Instead of battling over partisan issues, the candidates, with the frequent exception of conservative former California Republican Party Chairman Tom Del Beccaro, frequently agreed on topics that would appeal to most voters in left-leaning California, where all statewide officeholders are Democrats and the Legislature is under Democratic control.

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6 Comments to "Even Republicans Swing Left in 1st California U.S. Senate Debate"

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  1. The author shows where he is coming from by saying that Republicans attacking GWB’s foreign policy were “tacking left.”

    Millions of us who are far, far from “the left” abhor the foreign policy of George W Bush and every other president in recent decades (or longer), as the author could easily know.


    As for the minimum wage, this non-leftist like to see a gradual but large boost in the minimum wage BUT ONLY IF it is accompanied by a reduction in the taxes paid by most small-business owners — meaning the federal income tax, since many many small businesses are just “pass-through” entities for tax purposes and it is really the owner/entrepreneur who pays all the taxes directly.

    An ongoing increase in the minimum wage also needs to be coupled with a REDUCTION in the longer-term benefits (including food stamps) that are given to able-bodied adults who don’t work. If the reason they “can’t” work is because they conceived children with no intention of getting married and no economic prospects in sight for either “parent”, as is often the case, then tough s—.

    The intent of my suggestions here is to REWARD WORK MORE and reward idleness and laziness less.

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  2. ‘BUT ONLY IF it is accompanied by a reduction in the taxes paid by most small-business owners — meaning the federal income tax, since many many small businesses are just “pass-through” entities for tax purposes and it is really the owner/entrepreneur who pays all the taxes directly.’

    As a small business owner I can only applaud this sentiment. The current statutory minimum wage, however, hasn’t been a factor in my part of the country for some years. The market for entry-level employment here is significantly above it, though below the much-vaunted $15 minimum now proposed.

    What is really depressing wages is the rapidly increasing cost of medical benefits. An employer has to consider all of his costs of labor, not just cash wages. It is hard to give one’s employees a raise in cash wages when the cost of their benefits has already increased by many times what the CPI has done. Added mandatory insurance coverages don’t help. For example, my business was recently required to add pediatric dental coverage for employees’ dependents. Most people (including, perhaps especially, politicians ) do not understand how significantly such requirements add to the cost of labor, or how little they really benefit working people. “Obamacare” has only made matters worse.

  3. I read the Chron article on the debate and noticed that there was nary a mention of Mr. Unz’s primary reason for entering the race: the importance of emphasizing English in schools. Another month or two of such (non)coverage and it might be worth re-evaluating whether a Senate run works well as an opportunity to publicize an issue that the MSM are largely intent on ignoring.

  4. A Sacramento news station reported the next day on the debates by asking young college students what they thought about the senate debate, with predictable fluffy results. I’d take a page from Trump if I were Mr. Unz because I don’t think you’re going to get anywhere until you rattle their cages.

  5. Increasing the minimum wage will decrease the income taxes small business owners pay.

  6. Even Republicans Swing Left in 1st California U.S. Senate Debate

    You haven’t been paying much attention have you? This is a uniparty country, and the republicans have been leftists ever since George Bush Sr. was VP. He made it even worse when he was president. It is one of the reasons we are all supporting Trump and hoping it destroys the republican party.

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